Long time, no write. Mea culpa. We’ve just moved out of our home of 22 years.  The dream home is built and our 125 boxes of stuff (read: books, books, books!) is currently taking up all the floor space while we are living in a two month rental apartment waiting for John to give his 60 days notice (gee, did I ever mention this wonderful guy who has been my muse for 32 years?  A neuropsychologist.  What an amazing perspective!)  So I’m sitting at my mother-in-laws kitchen table, using a dial up (&!#$%!&$#!!) that means I have to sit here waiting 20-30 seconds each time I change screens (picture my tense shoulder muscles while I go absolutely nuts) and we shuttle from here betweem  our new house, here, and our aparatment, working to de-box our possessions. 

I wanted to apologize to Shaddy.  I did read your posting and went to your site and was properly affected.  In fact, I wept.  I was so stressed out from the move, and suddenly here are these kind words out of the blue.  What a boost that was.  I even wrote you back, tried to post it on your site, and got lost in all the red tape of “signing up.”  Dang internet.  But your posting there and your words were so fine.  I love you too.

And all this time while I’m stressing out, the messages and postings here kept coming, like a friendly hand reminding me that life goes on, that moving (yanking your whole god-danged life out of line and putting it boxes that go into a giant truck) is just temporary, that we will all keep working and writing and doing what must be done. 

Any body got any good moving stories?  I’d really love to hear them to help me keep my chin up.

30 responses to “Moving

  1. There are no good moving stories. Moving sucks even when it is to a better place!

  2. My best friend’s daughter moved this weekend after divorcing her lying, cheating husband. A couple of years ago she had lost her grandmother’s diamond ring, a family heirloom with more sentimental than financial value. As she packed for the move, she found the ring, along with some other jewelry, in a box at the back of the top shelf of her closet. She then remembered hiding it so her scumbag husband wouldn’t pawn it. She said “It’s like God said get rid of the bastard and ill give you your diamonds back.” I’m not sure that’s exactly how God would put it, but I’m no biblical scholar; what do I know?

  3. First thing that comes to mind: It isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey.

    Second thing that comes to mind: what a goldmine of story ideas you’re living there.

    Third thing that comes to mind: Neuropsychologist? What a wealth of close-at-hand story ideas.

  4. We’ve just finished a move of a sort, a major remodel of our sun room. While the contractor had that room all tore up through the first white-out snow storm since I’ve lived here and through an ice storm, my wife decides a couple of other rooms needed painted, so that was accomplished and now all the trim in the house has to be painted. We have had boxes piled high through out the house. The only room left unaffected was the bath room.

    Although it’s not a moving story, it’s been just as stressful. I got them knotty shoulder too Ann, it’s just not from dial-up, even though I’ve been there also.

    Best wishes for your dream home, may your years in it be blessed and happy. Even if the road to get there is rough.

  5. Ann,

    I’m so pleased that my blog post regarding you and BWW offered you a boost when you needed one.

    I hope you had the time to read all of the comments from others who took your class. Your affect on so many writers is something you can be very proud of although I know it’s not your nature to boast.

    You push us forward and then stand back and smile. We all thank you for that.

    Regarding moving, I’ve only moved twice in my entire life, believe it or not. When I married Lon, I moved from my parent’s home to our apartment. Three years later, Lon and I moved from there to the home we built. Since 1973, we’ve lived in the same place.

    So, I’ll sit back and read other writers’ “moving experiences.”

  6. OMG, I’m the “Moving Queen”! My husband and I have been together for 30 years. He was a General Contractor who owned his own small business. During that time we moved 9 times, always to a more exciting place. Well, once to an apartment, but it was really cool too. We have been in our current home for 7 years, so the first 8 moves were about every three years.

    And I loved it! There is nothing better than starting new, especially if you are excited about the place.

    One time we moved in the snow – and the moving truck got stuck in our driveway.

    Another move I remember was on the hottest day of the year – it was 101 degrees. That’s hot for Oregon. Our home was at the bottom of a long sloping driveway and it was too steep for the moving truck to back down. So the movers had to carry everything up the driveway to load it into the truck.

    They were young and full of energy at the start of the day, but as the day wore on, they got slower and slower. I filled them full of Gatorade, sandwiches and cookies, tying to keep their energy level up. When they got to Franklin, they were stunned. If you don’t remember Franklin, he is our 33 year old Roosevelt Fern, an imposing member of our family, who was then about 4’ x 4’ in his 30” diameter pot on his pedestal. It took two of them to carry him. They were as careful as two mover guys could be, but he I’m sure there was some cussin’ and swearin’ going on as they lugged him up the hill. And the stories they probably told later would have been fun to hear. I think.

    The bottom line is, you won’t remember the bad times once you are settled in and put away. Trust me – I know! Best wishes to you and your family in your new home.

    • Those poor movers, working in 101 degree temperatures, carrying everything uphill…and then the fern on top of it all!

      You took good care of them; I’m sure they appreciated that. As far as their stories regarding the experience go, I imagine they’d be pretty entertaining.

      I admire your ability to be flexible; moving nine times is quite a feat.

  7. A long time ago, my husband and I were getting ready to move into our first house. Friends of ours had just moved to their first townhouse on DC’s Capitol Hill, and the house was broken into and robbed the first time they left it.

    That was a bummer, of course, but they were thrilled because their very expensive stereo equipment had been left behind — all because it was still packed in a box labeled ‘books’ and who would steal books?

    SO: We labeled Every. Single. Box. as ‘books’. Nobody ever broke into our house — or if they did, they didn’t bother to take anything — but for weeks if I was looking for the blender or a particular sweater or even a book — I’d curse when having to root through box after box labeled ‘books’ to find it.

    • That’s funny. Now if any one of us was going to break into a house, the first boxes we’d grab would be those marked “books.”

      It must have been frustrating to be inconvenienced by your inaccurately labeled boxes, but at least nobody was tempted to help themselves to your possessions.

  8. Ann,

    I’m waiting for permission from the Anchorage Museum to post some of their photos at my blog, and then I will tell you a horror story about moving that will make you dance on your in-laws kitchen table and ask if you can’t stay with them until you’ve completely unpacked and accessorized your dream house, plus memorized what all the light switches are for. Promise.

    You might still cuss at the dial-up, though. There’s really no cure for that ailment. As America’s Beloved Digital Goddess says about dial-up: I’m so sorry. I was on dial-up when I enrolled in BWW, so I know what you’re going through.

    I’ll let you know when the story’s posted at my blog.

  9. You all know how it is when you have to get a sticky chunk of doggerel out of your head before you can move on…

    A Night in the Life

    Inspiration, late at night,
    and writer leaps from bed,
    knows he’s found the perfect plot,
    one hidden in his head.

    So now the hook is set
    and on the writer types,
    pulling slowly on the line
    then letting go some slack.

    Misspelled words are underlined
    as across the screen they flow,
    writer lets them stay for now,
    just curses fingers slow.

    Red herrings swim across the page,
    letting readers follow bait,
    and clever clues appear disguised
    but solution lies in wait.

    If the writer shares his bed
    with another still asleep,
    that person is forgotten;
    writer’s in another world

    As dawn appears far in the east,
    and solution finally penned,
    exhaustion’s little noticed
    when writer types “The End.”

    Still the writer lies awake,
    ‘cause in his heart he knows
    harsh daylight will tell him
    if he should have stayed in bed.

  10. Until I was four years old, I lived in a 20 by 20 foot house with my parents and two older brothers. In 1953, we moved to the house my father built next door.

    Of course, I can’t remember the move, yet I’d venture to say that there wasn’t much to it. How much stuff can a tiny house like that hold?

  11. Finally got permission to use the photos I’d mentioned before, so I’ll have that moving story up in a couple days. Busy, busy, busy today. Going into Seward to get the studded tires off me truck and attend a small writing workshop with Nancy Lord, Alaska’s Writer Laureate.

  12. Poor Ann.

    I fear we all need a good swift kick in the hind end to get us “moving.”

    I truly hope that you’re feeling less scattered these days. As I mentioned previously, I can’t really comprehend your dilemma through personal experience.

    Know we’re all rooting for you during this unsettled time.

  13. Watched as a wife introduced her husband to their new daughter when he returned from Iraq. That was a very moving story.

  14. Ann: Posted the lead-in to my moving story today at my blog. More to come.

  15. Barbara Burris

    Hang in there, Ann! It’s really, truly worth it.

    The house Bruce and I lived in was his from before we were married. It was certainly nice enough but not my taste. (A Sears kit home from the 20’s, Dutch Colonial style, located in the suburbs.) Friends and family asked how I could stand living in a house that I hadn’t picked out but I married him, not the house, so it never really bothered me.

    As we approached retirement, we began looking for property farther away from the city and found our present location in the gently rolling terrain of southern Wisconsin on the edge of the glacial moraine area (translates: all the rocks you’ll ever need for ANY landscaping project, right in your own back yard!) We knew we wanted a log home and this property was perfect for it. We both continued to work for the first couple of years after we moved here. Even though the commute was long and painful many days, we felt our stress melt away as soon as we turned onto our road at night.

    Now that we’re both retired, it’s still our amazing retreat. This house suits the informality that has become our style over the years and the kids absolutely love the idea of Christmas at the cabin.

    May you be as happy in your dream home as we are in ours!

    • Your place sounds like a dream come true. It’s your deserved reward for previously living in a home that wasn’t in line with your taste.

      I’m happy for you.

      • Barbara Burris

        Thanks, Shaddy. Your comment made me re-read what I wrote. Egads. Could I sound any more shallow or selfish???? This is why I sometimes refrain from posting anything on this site.

        Truth is, the house was bought by my husband and his first wife. Lots of ‘ghosts’ made it sometimes a difficult place to live. Should’ve said that in the first place.

        Thanks for your kind words.

  16. Barbara: You DID NOT sound shallow or selfish at all!!!! You shared your moving experience in order to encourage Ann. I loved reading your comment and found it interesting and heart warming.

    Now you sound like me, second guessing yourself. Lon’s always telling me to stop doing that. Now I’m telling you.

    Honestly, you simply shared parts of your life and that’s wonderful. Please, please don’t refrain from posting here in the future. We’re all coming from different places and different lives and different states of mind and different everything, except we’re similar in that we love to write.

    Please don’t deny yourself something you love. Life’s too short. We’re here to enjoy any and all of the puzzle pieces of life that each of us owns and is willing to contribute to the group.

    As I reread this comment, I think it sounds preachy. Will I refrain from posting it? Heavens no! It gives me a chance to practice what I’ve been preaching. 🙂

    P.S. I sense you couldn’t sound shallow or selfish even if you tried. Really!


    • Yes, I do love to write, though lately nothing good seems to be coming through my fingertips. I’ll just have to ride out the slump like everyone else, I guess. Again, many thanks.

  17. Ewww…. a nest shared with the first ex? Even if it was a Craftsman home, one of those oh-so-retro-gems? No way. New nest is the way to go.

    • Thanks, Gully. I tried to shut out where it came from and accept it on its own merits. Most of the time I was able to do that. We couldn’t possibly have afforded a different space that would accommodate 5 of us when the kids were with us. And they were used to coming back to their own rooms and neighborhood friends, so we stayed. It was worth the wait. This is truly our home. I never want to leave. I tell Bruce I hope I die here — either sitting here in my favorite chair writing or doing a sudden face plant in the garden while working with the plants.

      By the by, we’re going to Alaska next month. Any tips?

  18. Barbara Burris

    Well, starting in Fairbanks and then a few more places like Skagway, Whittier, down to Vancouver, BC. I’ll have to check the itinerary again. It’ll be around the beginning of June for a little over a week. Definitely not a tour, more like a taste.

  19. Is this part Inside Passage Cruise? I ask because of the Whittier-Skagway-Vancouver thing. First part of June sounds okay in Fairbanks. Should look like summer there. Ditto for Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. When you are in Whittier, you’re about forty road miles from me.

    Will you be taking the railroad from Fairbanks to Whittier? You’ll really like the Anchorage to Whittier ride, and it gets more spectacular the farther south you go into the mountains.

    As for Skagway, DEFINITELY take a side trip of the narrow gauge railroad there. The town itself has turned into a large tourist trap, so search out the unusual, like Soapy Smith’s grave, etc. Just walking down the street lookiing at the old buildings is a kick. There’s one covered in driftwood that’s really unusual and authentic. Or, time permitting, a hike-float trip on a couple miles of the Chilkoot Trail with Chilkat Guides.You won’t believe what those gold-rushers had to do.

    Let me know more.

    • Barbara Burris

      Thanks, Gully! We’re taking the train down, as you guessed. I’ll check on the stops. The ship takes us the rest of the way to Vancouver. Will get back to you with the other places soon. Thanks!

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